No more labels

Editor of the Reformer:

I was so pleased to see today's article (May 16) in the Health section of the paper, speaking to the issue of negative labels for patients with mental illnesses. Can it be true? Have we finally moved out of the middle ages in our discussions about mental health? No one is an illness. We don't refer to people as a Cardiac Infarction or a Breast Cancer. Why on earth would we call someone a Schizophrenic? The various mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, psychosis, etc.) are just variations on the "broken brain" like epilepsy, Parkinsons, or Alzheimers. Not only is it disrespectful to call someone a mental illness, it fuels the endless problem of stigma, the leftover of ignorance we have inherited from the past. So much more is known now about these problems. It is time to stop whispering their names.

Claudette Hollenbeck, Wilmington, May 16